NoDeity wrote:In my own experience, I started using less distortion when I became more confident in my playing.
Oh snap! Well said.
I, like any good rocker, also loves good sounding distortion. The crunchy makes it sound better. But you are absolutely right that overdoing it will make the notes you play indistinguishable.
Studio albums can sometimes get away with more distortion while still having the notes distinguishable due to the studio recording equipment, control over clarity, etc. But playing live you cant pump the gain all the way up to 10 without sacrificing clarity.
And yes, less confident players often use more effects, more gain, etc, to make them sound better than that otherwise feel they do. Im not saying all use of effects and gain is a sign of insecurity, of course, just that the insecure ones are less likely to moderate their effects and gain properly.